William Gibson was brought up in the southern United States but has lived in Vancouver with his wife and 2 children for many years. His novels include the hugely successful NEUROMANCER trilogy and VIRTUAL LIGHT (Penguin). "The man who saw the consequences of virtual reality before the technology had even been invented" OBSERVER
The founding father of cyberpunk again returns to the techno-decadent 21st century mapped in his other major works (Virtual Light, Neuromancer, etc.). As usual, Gibson offers a richly imagined tale that finds semi-innocents wading hip-deep into trouble. Colin Laney has taken a job in Japan to escape the revenge of his former employer, Slitscan, a kind of corporate gossip-mongerer on the Net that he has crossed out of scruples. Meanwhile, Chia Pet McKenzie is active in the fan clubs for Lo/Rez, a Japanese superstar rock duo; while visiting Japan to investigate some new rumors about the group, she is used to smuggle illegal nanoware to the Russian criminal underground. Both Laney and Chia get caught up in the intrigues swirling about the plans of Rez, one half of the band, to marry Rei Toei, an "idoru" (idol) who exists only in virtual reality. Gibson excels here in creating a warped but comprehensible future saturated with logical yet unexpected technologies. His settings are brilliantly realized, from high-tech hotel rooms and airplanes to the infamous Walled City of Kowloon. The pacing is slower than Virtual Light, but Gibson exhibits his greatest strength: intense speculation, expressed in dramatic form, about the near-term evolution and merging of cultural, social and technological trends, and how they affect character. Dark and disturbing, this novel represents no new departure for Gibson, but a further accretion of the insights that have made him the most precise, and perhaps the most prescient, visionary working in SF today. 100,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo; author tour. (Sept.)
Colin Laney has a gift very much in demand. He can see well-hidden secrets through "nodal points" in the digital wake of commerce. In the not-so-distant future, fame and fortune and their analogs, scandal and ruin, are the true binding agents in a fractured, ungovernable world. Fired from his television tabloid job for an indiscretion, Laney is hired by the manager of the superpopular band Lo/Rez to go to post-earthquake Tokyo and divine the meaning behind singer Lo's intention to marry an idoru‘a sort of a semi-sentient hologram. In alternating chapters, Chia, deeply involved in the Seattle chapter of the Lo/Rez fan club, picks up word of Lo's intentions over a computer network and is sent to investigate. On the way, she acts as the unwitting mule for a smuggler and winds up holding some very dangerous information. Though the plotting is weak and obvious, Gibson's writing is thick with atmosphere, dislocating the reader with a future that is both familiar and unsettling. Gibson's legion of fans will enjoy this fine sf thriller. For all fiction collections.‘Adam Mazmanian, "Library Journal"